The Government of Korea and the African Development Bank (AfDB) on Wednesday signed two agreements for financial support to boost Africa’s development agenda.
The financing deal valued at $28.6 million is meant to support energy projects in Africa and be distributed by the AfDB.
The funding complements $600 million in co-financing under the Korea-Africa Energy Investment Framework, agreed with the Korean government in 2021.
The framework supports African countries to build human capacity and develop their energy sectors.
The agreements were signed in Busan, during the 7th Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation Ministerial Conference (KOAFEC), which is being co-hosted by the Bank and Korea. KOAFEC opened on Tuesday.
The new funding will primarily support energy access, agricultural transformation, and knowledge and capacity-building across a number of African countries.
The amount will be disbursed to the African Development Bank Group in three instalments: $4.6 million in 2023, and $24 million in 2024 and 2025.
AfDB Group President Dr Akinwumi Adesina, and Korea’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance, Kyungho Choo, signed the first agreement for $28.6 million.
Choo described Korea as “a true partner for African countries”, adding that the government would do its best to contribute to Africa’s sustainable growth and development.
Adesina said Korea’s additional funding was timely, especially as the nation celebrates the 40th anniversary of joining the African Development Bank. He commended the government for its commitment to a strong partnership between the African Development Bank and Korea.
“Korea’s relationship with Africa is unique,” Adesina said. “There is a lot to learn from Korea which moved from a poor country relying on aid, to a donor country within a single generation,” he added.
The second agreement, between the AfDB and Statistics Korea, will strengthen statistical cooperation and enhance the capacity of African countries to produce quality data.
African Development Bank Chief Economist and Vice President Kevin Urama, and Commissioner of Statistics Korea, Hyoung il Lee, signed the agreement on behalf of their institutions.
According to officials, under the agreement with Statistics Korea, an agency under the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the two institutions will work together to raise statistical awareness and share new data sources and methods to improve statistical quality, including big data.
The agreement document identifies areas for possible cooperation, such as the African Development Bank’s Africa Information Highway for evidence-based decision-making. The Africa Information Highway is a mega-network of live open data platforms electronically linking all African countries and 16 regional organisations.
AfDB’s figures indicate that the Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation Trust Fund is the largest of the Bank’s active bilateral trust funds in terms of contributions received and portfolio size. The fund which had received $108 million in contributions as of 31 December 2022, has financed 203 projects since its inception.